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GLS eyes FLNG orders for Main Pass

Norwegian player teaming up with SembMarine and Siemens on new Liqui-Max design for proposed US LNG export facility

Norway-based liquefied natural gas player Global LNG Services (GLS) is in talks with Sembcorp Marine and Siemens over orders for new-design floaters that would be used at a proposed new export facility on the US Gulf coast.

GLS is expecting to firm up memoranda of understanding with the Singapore-based builder and German engineering giant “over the next few weeks” as the trio enter the permitting phase for the proposed Main Pass Energy Hub (MPEH) in Louisiana.

The GLS-owned project is set for a final investment decision in early 2019, with production start-up in 2023. The overall development cost, inclusive of pre-commissioning, is seen at less than $9 billion.

GLS is looking at ordering two so-called Liqui-Max units to service the hub, which would each offer 12 million tonnes per annum of production capacity.

SembMarine would build and deliver the new 380-metre-long floating LNG units, while Siemens is offering topsides modules for the new designs.

GLS said the new Liqui-Max design can offer tolling fees at MPEH of as low as $1.75 per million British thermal unit.

GLS said of the new design: “The standardised Liqui-Max vessels require minimum customisation and enable developers of LNG export projects in remote locations without infrastructure to achieve low costs and high cost control.” Gas processing would be done off the vessel.

“The global market for Liqui-Max vessels is estimated at 20 to 40 vessels producing 6 to12 million tonnes per annum [of LNG] based on projects currently considered for development,” GLS continued.

GLS founder and chief executive Paul Eckbo said: “The global GLS approach will contribute to LNG becoming the stable, low cost energy source to replace coal and provide back-up for renewables. The GLS innovations will enable the ‘global virtual LNG pipeline’ to expand faster.”

Erik Arthur, managing director of shipbroker Clarksons Platou Offshore, added: “With its Liqui-Max vessel technology, [MPEH] appears to be a very significant development in the large scale FLNG export terminal market.”